Family • Chloranthaceae - Chloranthus officinalis Blume - Shi feng jie

Scientific names

Chloranthus erectus (Buch.-Ham) Verdc.
Chloranthus officinalis Blume
Chloranthus salicifolius Presl
Chloranthus elatior Link.

Common names

Barau-barau (Mang.)
Sunulampong (Sub.)
Shi feng jie (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

CAMBODIA: KbaKk damrei.
CHINESE: Yu zi lan, Jie jie cha, Jiu hie feng.
INDIA: Yasinha.
INDONESIA: Keras tulang, Uyuh-uyuhan, Haros tulang.
MALAYSIA: Sambau paya, Sigueh puteh, Rami hutan, Keras tulang, Dikut-dikut, Langut-langut.
MYANMAR: Thanat-kha, Yuzara.
THAILAND: Hom kai; Kraduk kai.


Barau-barau is a spreading undershrub, with a similar habit to apot (Chloranthus glabra). Stems are 30 to 70 centimeters high. Leaves are smooth, obovate-oblong or elliptic, the smaller ones broadly lanceolate, averaging 10 to 15 centimeters long, the larger ones being about 5 centimeters wide, with pointed tip, finely granular margin and with short stalks. Spikes are about 3 centimeters long, in few-branched terminal panicles, upon a 3- to 5-centimeter long peduncle. Flowers are minute. Fruit is white, juicy, 5 to 8 millimeters in diameter, with a relatively large seed.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Chloranthus erectus / Synonyms & Chinese names / GLOBinMED

(2) Evaluation of anti-inflammatory potential of Chloranthus erectus (Buch.-Ham.) Verd. leaf extract in rats /
Tag H, Namsa ND, Das AK, Kalita P, Mandal SC. / J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Nov 12;126(2):371-4. / doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.08.015. Epub 2009 Aug 22.

(3) Antipyretic and antibacterial activity of Chloranthus erectus (Buch.-Ham.) Verdcourt leaf extract: A popular folk medicine of Arunachal Pradesh / Hui Tag, Nima D. Namsa, M. Mandal, P.

Kalita, A.K. Das, and S.C. Mandal / Indian J Pharmacol. 2010 October; 42(5): 273–276. / doi: 10.4103/0253-7613.70083

(4) Ethnomedicinal studies of the Khamti tribe of Arunachal Pradesh / A K Das & Hui Tag / Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, Vol 5(3), July 2006, pp 317-322.

(6) Chloranthus officinalis —Medicinal Plants of the Philippines / T H Pardo de Tavera et al


– Widely distributed in forests at low and medium altitudes from central Luzon southward to Palawan and Mindanao.
– Occurs in India to Western China and southward through Malaya.

– All plant plant parts have a camphoraceous odor and bitter, aromatic taste.
– Leaves and stems lose the aromatic property after drying. Root, if properly dried, preserve it for a long time.
– Considered febrifuge, sudorific and stimulant.

Parts used
Flowers, roots, leaves.
– Flowers used to scent tea in China.
– Leaves used to make a drink in Malaya and Indonesia.
– In Java, an infusion of the powdered root and the bark ofCinnamomum culilowan used to treat puerperal eclampsia.
– Infusion used in fever accompanied by debility and suppression of the function of the skin.
– Tea made from leaves and roots has a sudorific action.
– Infusion of flowers and leaves used to treat coughs.
– Roots are boiled, then powdered, rubbed over the body for fever.
– Sudorific and stimulant, it is used for malarial fevers.
– Bruised roots used as poultice for boils and carbuncles.
– In India and South-East Asia traditionally used as folklore medicine for localized swelling, joint pains, skin inflammation, fever and body aches.
– Khamti tribe of Arunachal Pradesh use the leaves for elephant foot swelling.
– C. erectus is considered an aphrodisiac, particularly in women. In India, the juice from boiled branches is used as contraceptive; root and bark used as antispasmodic during childbirth. Leaf extract used for venereal diseases.

barau-barau4Study Findings
• Anti-Inflammatory: Preliminary study of a methanol extract of C. erectus in acute, sub-acute, chronic mouse models exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity in tested models (carrageenan-induced rat hind paw edema, histamine- and serotonin-induced sub-acute model).
• Antipyretic / Antibacterial: A methanol leaf extract was evaluated for antipyretic potential in an albino rat model and for antibacterial activity against Gram(-) and Gram(+) bacterial strains. Results showed significant antipyretic activity in the tested models and antibacterial activity against both groups of bacteria.